Richard Schulze Ends Best Buy Acquisition Attempt28 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Former Best Buy Co. chairman Richard Schulze has reportedly ended a buyout bid for the consumer electronics chain he founded in 1966 when it was called Sound of Music.
Schulze, who had been working since last year on a leveraged purchase of Best Buy with private investors, had been given two extensions by the CE retailer's board to submit a bid. He now appears to have moved away from finalizing a deal by the Feb. 28 midnight deadline, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited sources close to Schulze.
Indeed, Best Buy pushed back by one day (until March 1) reporting its fourth-quarter fiscal results — a move many believed indicated Schulze was close to submitting a bid reportedly worth billions. The chain earlier this week announced it was cutting 400 positions at its corporate headquarters located in Richfield, Minn.
Best Buy, which has struggled in recent years with operating big-box retail stores as competitors like Walmart and Amazon up less expensive online availability of CE products and home entertainment, incurred challenges at the executive level last year when CEO Brian Dunn resigned following the disclosure of an improper relationship with a female staffer.
French hospitality executive Hubert Joly currently heads Best Buy.
Schulze, who was chairman of the board at the time, resigned after being rebuked for not disclosing his knowledge of Dunn’s affair.